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This announcement is an update concerning the implementation of four new "Consensus Policies" applicable to ICANN-accredited gTLD registrars: the new Expired Domain Deletion Policy, and the previously announced Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, Whois Marketing Restriction Policy, and Restored Names Accuracy Policy.
Expired Domain Deletion Policy
Today ICANN announced the implementation of the Expired Domain Deletion Policy (EDDP). This consensus policy defines a uniform deletes practice that registrars must follow at the time of domain name expiry, as well as specific requirements for registrar handling of expired names that are subject to a UDRP dispute.
The EDDP was developed through ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization in response to concerns in the community about registrar practices in regards to deletion of expired names. In the past, some registrars have held on to domain registrations that the original registrant did not act to renew. With the new policy in place, all ICANN-accredited registrars will be required to delete domain names by the conclusion of the 45 day auto-renewal period that follows the expiration of a domain name, unless the registrant has consented to have the domain names renewed.
Names deleted by registrars at the conclusion of any registrar grace period following expiration will continue to be subject to the Redemption Grace Period (RGP). The RGP is a thirty (30) day registry "hold" period for all domain names deleted by registrars. This hold period is designed to allow registrars the ability to "restore" names that were deleted accidentally or without the intent of the registrant.
The EDDP will be effective beginning 21 December 2004. The complete text of the policy is available at <http://www.icann.org/registrars/eddp.htm>.
Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy: Implementation Update
As announced previously, ICANN's new Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy will become effective on 12 November 2004.
Under the new transfer policy, registrants will be safer from any risk of having their domains transferred to another registrar without their consent, and will have greater freedom to transfer their domains to an ICANN-accredited registrar that offer them the best combination of service and price.
Rules for Initiating Transfer Requests
In the past, some registrants complained that they were lured into transferring their domains unintentionally as a result of deceptive "renewal" notices from registrars. For an example of this sort of complaint, see the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announcement dated 24 September 2003, titled "Network Solutions Settles FTC Charges -- False Solicitations Allegedly Duped Consumers to Transfer Domain Name Registrations" <http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/09/networksolutions.htm>.
Under the new transfer policy, gaining registrars will be required to use a clear standardized form of authorization to obtain the express consent of the registrant prior to initiating a transfer. Also, under the new policy gaining registrars will be obligated to obtain reliable evidence of the identity of the registrant or administrative contact that has requested the transfer using a digital signature, a unique code available only by e-mail to the authorized administrative contact, a notarized statement, or a valid driver license or passport.
Rules for Denying Transfer Requests
The new policy will prohibit registrars from denying outgoing transfers on the basis of a registrant's alleged failure to "double-confirm" the transfer. Under the old policy, some transfer requests that had already been reliably authenticated by the gaining registrar were denied by the losing registrar if technical problems, spam filters or language difficulties resulted in a registrant missing a secondary confirmation e-mail from the losing registrar. Losing registrars will still be able to send a message to a registrant that has authorized an outgoing transfer, but a clear and concise standardized form must be used, and the registrar will not be allowed to deny the transfer if a response is not received from the registrant.
Registrars will still be able to use "registrar-lock" to give registrants added assurance that their domains will not be transferred or modified without their consent, but only if the registrar provides a readily accessible and reasonable means for registrants to remove the lock if and when the registrant decides to transfer.
New Mechanism for Resolution of Transfer Disputes
The new transfer policy includes a robust dispute resolution policy for resolving disputes between registrars involving alleged violations of the policy. As part of this mechanism, registries will be implementing a "transfer undo" functionality in order to be able to efficiently reverse any transfers initiated in violation of the policy.
The policy was developed through ICANN's consensus-based, bottom-up policy development process. For more details, including the complete text of the policy, of the dispute resolution policy, and copies of the approved standardized forms, please visit <http://www.icann.org/transfers/>.
Whois Marketing Restriction Policy
Policy documentation is available at <http://www.icann.org/registrars/wmrp.htm> .
Effective date is 12 November 2004.
Restored Names Accuracy Policy
Policy documentation is available at <http://www.icann.org/registrars/rnap.htm> .
Effective date is 12 November 2004.
A complete overview of all Consensus Policies applicable to gTLD registrars can be found at <http://www.icann.org/general/consensus-policies.htm> .